By on August 18, 2015

Porsche 930

Steve McQueen’s 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera fetched $1.95 million at auction, according to Hemmings Daily.

The specially ordered, air-cooled turbo Porsche had a few cool factory features including dual mirrors, limited-slip differential, black leather buckets and the original tag with McQueen’s custom-ordered slate gray color still riveted to the door jamb.

Considering a fine 1976 Porsche 930 with 64,000 miles on the clock went for nearly $300,000, I figured the auction for charity of McQueen’s car would fetch around the same.

I’m wrong. I can admit that to you now.

Proceeds from the auction will go to Boys Republic, a school in Chino Hills, California, that helps at-risk youth.

Beyond owning the last car that McQueen reportedly special ordered, the new Porsche 930 owner will get the added benefit of having a kill-switch for the rear lights, in case they’re being followed at night like McQueen.

The car was reportedly “refreshed” in the 1990s, which means that not all the cars that went for mega-money this weekend were unrestored Ferraris.

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49 Comments on “I’m Wrong A Lot: Steve McQueen’s Porsche Fetches Nearly $2M...”


  • avatar

    I was born in 1981. I barely know who McQueen is.
    The generation’s below me have no idea at all who he is.
    People who grew up watching his films must have spawned a few millionaires capable of buying this car.

    Does this mean that when I’m older, there will be auctions for “classics” being driven right now by “celebrities”???

    An auction for Kim Kardashian’s Aventador?

    An Auction for Meek Mill’s Ferrari?

    An Auction for Jennifer Lawrence’s car?

    Be on the lookout for millionaires and billionaires buying outrageously expensive items such as fine art, cars and houses that will hold value and appreciate – so they can get their money out of the stock market for the coming crash.

    Chinese billionaires for example buying multi-million dollar homes site-unseen.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Are any those people really celebrities?

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        I have BIG problems with people like that. If you’re a ‘motoring enthusiast’ and you dont know who McQueen is, I question your attention to popular culture/cultural significance.

        I think because McQueen is so linked to two brands (porsche and ford) any kind of link between these two will be high pumped up.

        Also to be fair, since this is a charity auction, you’re going to get the billionaires coming out of the woodwork.

        To me the 930 is a bit tenuous in connection… like a green 1967 911? or a ’68 Mustang fastback>

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “I barely know who McQueen is.”

      Alls I know is he was called “The Cooler King” so I guess he must’ve made a bundle in refrigeration right after WWII. Hope that helps!

      • 0 avatar
        DearS

        The animated movie cars main character: Lightning “McQueen”. Enough said!

        300,000 for a porsche 930? Put $15k into an E30 and you have a wonder ultra fun classic in pristine condition!

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> An Auction for Jennifer Lawrence’s car?

      They probably would have paid you to take away the Citation she drove in the movie “Joy”. I was on the set and took a few pictures of it because it’s been years since I’ve seen one, but resisted asking what they were doing with it after they were done shooting. There was a bustle-back Seville too, but it was in great shape but probably belongs to a collector or prop company.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      Here’s the flipside to this insane collector car market, right now you have morons paying $2 million for this car because Steve McQueen was some sort of god to them or whatever, fine, but what happens when they are dead and the next generation with money doesn’t give two craps about Steve McQueen or the other older cars their parents craved when they were younger? Right now it just seems like a lot of billionaires and near billionaires in some sort of dick measuring contest to see who can pay more than the other guy with no real rhyme or reason or logic to it. I mean come on, $30 million for some old Ferrari is just retarded and the McLaren F1 was cool, I love that car, but it is not $10 million plus cool.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree. Thing is, whether you know the person or not, these items only appreciate in value and are good ways to store your wealth since the stock market’s about to crash under the weight of a Trillion Dollars in Student Loans, a Trillion Dollars in subprime loans…

        I’m waiting for several stocks to bottom out so I can get in on the ground floor, just like I did with Ford during the Bailout Era. My whole family bought in. Two of my uncle’s cashed their shares in and bought big houses. the crash IS COMING. Peter Schiff agrees.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Couple keystrokes on a computer and a trillion more dollars are created to prop things up. There will be no real crash as before unless everything outside of the financial industry goes apesh*t along with it. Then and only then will they lose control.

        • 0 avatar
          64andahalf

          I want to disagree with BigTruck and his comment that these things only appreciate. I am a big car and cinema fan, and am also an old dude, so I appreciate Steve McQueen (and my friend is friends with Steve’s son). However, Steve’s name is not going to stand the test of time and I therefore would be surprised if this car ever sells for more than 15% of what it just sold for (inflation adjusted and price for old Porsche-adjusted).

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the new buyer is a Silicon Valley arriviste within two years of their 30th birthday.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Too young, maybe Gen X. McQueen was dead in 1980 but I could see a Gen X’er waxing poetically on the man and his Porsche.

      • 0 avatar
        rdsymmes

        From a person who sells very expensive products and services to people of far greater means than my own, the idea is to think with THEIR wallet, not YOURS. The market speaks the truth. And, by the way, you might want to check out Bullitt, Le Mans, The Great Escape, Papillon, The Sand Pebbles, and the list goes on. McQueen was great.

        • 0 avatar

          I wasn’t a big movie-goer, but I did see the Great Escape, several times. Just thinking about McQueen’s performance in that movie puts me in awe. His acting was superb, and his motorcycle riding trying to escape the Germans into Switzerland was quite memorable. I wouldn’t pay money like that to buy his Porsche. I’d rather watch the movie again. But I can understand how someone from my generation with money to burn might be willing to spend a couple of GGs on the car.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        30 million is the annual salary for a rookie Cuban baseball player, and 10 million is his signing bonus. When your kids ask “who the heck was Justin Bieber?”, it will be because his cheesy old Ferrari just sold at auction for a billion dollars.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        So in other words you’re talking about the pre-war and inter-war cars that commanded top dollar 40 years ago that are now hovering between 5-25K for rather nice editions? Or perhaps the 1950s cruisers that went from 70-100K down to 20-40K? Or the 1960s Muscle cars that command such huge premiums that will fall down as that generation ages out?

        It’s the natural trend of time, as people become less familiar and it falls out of nostalgia truly nice automobiles unlike smaller antiques will eventually rust and die, even the ones that commanded serious money in their heyday. It’s kind of a shame because I would love to drive a Model A to auto shows for thrills or a Buick Super Convertible as an attention getter. But the farther we get from those times the fewer demand will be and the while the prices may become more reasonable fewer cars will be saved due to accidents, environmental damage, and restoration costs (and know how).

        It’s the nature of preservation really. You try to save atleast a few of everything but you can’t save them all.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        It’ll still have some value above a like 911 owned by nobody-in-particular. On the rare occasions they come up in the market, cars owned by, say, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, etc. still pick up the big bucks due to their provenance. And we’re talking film stars who’s fan base is almost completely dead, other than serious film buffs.

        Somebody famous will always be important to some collector. The downside of this, of course, is that the Kardashians will never completely go away. There will eternally be some brain-dead idiot to whom they’re collectible.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Steve McQueen seems to be extremely popular with a particular brand of young hipster doofus, the kind you don’t want to be passed out around when they figure out that they really admire the male form.

      Personally, I think that paying two million for Steve McQueen’s 930 is so close to paying three hundred grand for an anonymous 930 on the crazy spectrum that they look like the same dot on the line.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I’m a McQueen fan. I enjoyed many of his movies. I’m not a hipster or buying his stuff though.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “I’m not a hipster”

          Good, we don’t take kindly to their kind ’round these parts.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Many of his movies? Most of the ones he’s remembered for were atrocious. I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions, but “Bullit” is a car chase away from needing to star Kevin Costner to be any worse. It’s cool that “LeMans” gave us footage of 917s and 512s, but otherwise it is the filth on garbage. “The Getaway”? “Towering Inferno”? A couple of decent war movies didn’t set him above lots of other good actors.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      None of those people you mentioned are on Steve McQueen’s level. I’d argue that there isn’t a current movie star on his level. For better or worse, the last great movie star is Tom Cruise.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      “I barely know who McQueen is.”

      @BTSR: For reference, I’m only five years older. But as someone who’s served and comes from generations of service, I can’t tell this story enough.

      In the fall of 1968, my father was penned off at SFO with several hundred other service members for their own safety, waiting for their flights overseas. Most, like my father, would very soon see combat. It couldn’t be a more awful time or place short of actually getting shot at.

      They just happened to be filming the climax scene of Bullitt at the airport that day.

      According to my dad, Steve McQueen stopped production for close to two hours to chat and shake hands with every single GI about to ship out. It’s a moment he’ll never, ever forget. He loves both cars and his country, and McQueen will always be a part of that.

      Sure, this Porsche was wildly overpriced, but if I could own it, I would cherish it.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Your examples miss the mark because none of those people are particularly known for cars. An auction for Paul Walker’s last car would be more on point, and could well draw comparable money once the Fast & Furious fans have an opportunity to make more money than they can possibly use.

      And the uber-wealthy have always bought outrageously expensive items, partly out of hope for appreciation but just as much to show off how little that they need the money.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      If you’re a Porsche owner and you follow the brand, you know who Steve McQueen is. I’m not much older than you and don’t really know his movies. But I can tell you I have a reproduction 1970’s poster in my garage above my 911, titled, “Steve McQueen drives a Porsche”…..

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      those arent safe bets either, since only other members of the 1% would be able to buy them. land is finite, high rise condos not much so.

      mc queen and paul newman were A+ list celebrities and motorsports buffs. i guess currently people like leno, seinfeld, and letterman would be as close but none would be considered A+ list or known for top grossing action movies. cruise? travolta? idk

      nobody gives 2 shits about what the people you mentioned drive, and likely lease.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    BTSR,
    Steve McQueen was “the king of cool” who was the highest paid actor in Hollywood at one time and was the anti-hero for the times. Go rent Bullitt for arguably the best chase scene ever and the chase scene all other chase scenes are judged by. No CGI, no FX; just some tight editing (mostly). PS, count how many hubcaps the Charger loses.Uh-huh, the bad guys drove a Charger. That ought to pique your Mopar loving interests.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Like Steve McQueen,
    all I need is a fast machine

  • avatar
    Acd

    So let me see if I can do the math: $300,000 for the car, about $200,000 to the auction house for a buyers fee/Steve McQueen premium and a $1.5 million dollar charitable tax write off.

    • 0 avatar
      Eliyahu

      No charitable deduction allowed unless the buyer donates the car itself. The accountants could argue that the amount in excess of the market value of the car is a charitable deduction, but that would require an appraisal by a certified appraiser. So what is the value of the car?

      Whoever donated the car does get a charitable deduction. That deduction is likely to be limited by several factors at least as complex as the good reasons to buy a Buick.

  • avatar

    Why be cynical ? Someone donated 1.8 mil to the Youth Shelter, and got a free collectable car with a great story behind it. If he tires of it he can take it to Monterey and probably get his money back. No harm, no foul.

    McQueen in “The Blob” racing up to Gibson Observatory in LA. Teen race in the middle of a horror movie and he pulls it off.

    For “mas macho”, LeMans is a statement and period piece.

  • avatar
    Car-los

    One of the most important elements in an auction to determine the price of the item you are selling is the “provenance” of whatever you are selling.

    Steve McQueen, as many of you don’t seem to know, was a well known car enthusiast, some of his cars include Porsche 917 and 908, and a GT40 among others.

    The Petersen Museum in LA actually has a Jaguar XKSS 1956 that once belonged to McQueen and they estimate that if it was put up for sell on an auction it would probably sell for around 35 million dollars.

    A highly regarded provenance in the context of what you are selling will always increase the price of the item in an auction and McQueen has it. He made the film Le Mans and Bullitt, both iconic car films, he also had a racing pedigree (which always increases prices in car auctions) he raced the Baja 1000 and the 12 Hours of Sebring among many others.

    The high prices in auctions are not dictated by an item out of context.

    Watch at what Jay Leno has to say on a McQueen’s car

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ai0uSj_OVE

    All the best…

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    I’m a big Steve McQueen fan, and old 911s are awesome, but holy shite that’s a lot of cheddar for that car. Only takes one buyer though…

    Stars like McQueen, Eastwood, Nicholson, etc are a dying breed. Today’s celebrity is too easily attained thanks to the internet….good or bad. If a no talent Kardashian can post a sex tape and become one of the world’s highest profile “celebrities”….that’s a pretty sad commentary on current pop culture.

    Considering Steve McQueen’s background and how he worked to become arguably the biggest movie star of the ’60s/70’s is pretty impressive. Add that to the fact that he was a true gearhead and accomplished racer on two and four wheels is even more admirable.

  • avatar

    The sky is falling, the market is crashing, and we are all supposed to buy vintage 911’s to save our bank accounts? Greatest country ever…

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Complaining about unfair/uncorrect/overvalued market price is kinda funny. The market is always right – if two individuals agree on a price and the deal is done, then this is the correct value of the item. I think classic car market crashes only after 20 or 30 years when generation x dies. They are the last generation who has experinced the cult of automobile. Millenials (generation wuss) have no interest in cars except the multimedia part. I think in 30-40 years we will see unpacked first generation iphones selling for millions of dollars.

  • avatar

    I think the $2 million reflects a lot of charity-giving rather than the real value of the car. A few months ago I watched an auction of a car restored in Jay Leno’s shop (I can’t remember–a 50s Buick, maybe?) and it went for a startling amount of money because it was for a charitable cause. The car has since come up at auction and has gone for a normal price you would expect, like $50,000 vs over $200,000.

    Of course Steve McQueen was notable for motorcycles and some of his have sold for record amounts as well including a great 1915 Cyclone board track bike that went for $775,000 in March. So while there is a celebrity premium there is also one for McQueen-as-motorhead.


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